Black Lives Matter Holds Peaceful Protest in Lawrence

Santiago Reyes-Cruz, Jr. at the Lawrence Black Lives Matter protest in Lawrence


In the wake of the George Floyd killing at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers, protests and riots broke in more than a dozen major cities.

Nearly two full weeks after George Floyd’s death, the radical anti-police group Black Lives Matter held two rallies in Lawrence on the Campagnone Common.
Both the Friday and Sunday night protests were peaceful with a few thousand people crowding the common calling for various changes in the criminal justice system.

Each speaker had a different message including defunding the police, more funding for education, an end to racism, an end to police brutality, a toppling of our government and one, with a message of peace and love.

“The purpose why we are here is to standup against police brutality. We are here not to point fingers, our enemy is not one person, our enemy is not the people you see around you it is an idea and a feeling and a process we need to change to loving each other. If we come here to push out our anger it will just add to the chaos around us,” said Santiago Reyes-Cruz Jr. of Lawrence.”

“Friday night I was at the protest with the youth of Lawrence, Massachusetts, a lot of people were not there because they were afraid, they wanted violence, there were helicopters around us, the Eagle Tribune along with other people were there trying to spark some sort of violence, but guess what, we didn’t see violence in Lawrence. We shut them up and we did not see violence Friday night.”

“The vision of Lawrence is an example of love.”

During the Sunday night protest there was only one instance of violence when a homeless man threw a projectile at police and was immediately tackled and taken into custody.

The rally was initially supposed to turn into a march up Broadway through Methuen and into Salem, NH. Businesses in Lawrence, Methuen, and Salem boarded up windows and barricaded doors in anticipation of violence.
The Rockingham Mall, a full ten miles away closed early Friday night and had all stores with outside doors to barricade them.

Santiago Reyes-Cruz Jr. said during the rally that more resources need to be spent on educating the youth of the city and promoting what’s good about Lawrence.

Only two arrests were made during both nights of protest. ◊